In the well-known tale of "The Tortoise and the Hare," everyone remembers that "slow and steady wins the race"—or does it? In this energetic retelling of a favorite fable, its the speedy Hare who crosses the finish line first, but its Tortoise who has the tale to tell when he discovers that the race, not the winning, is what matters most. While winning is important, making a true friend is the best prize of all.
Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and collaborated with his mother, Toni Morrison, on three previous books for children.
Joe Cepeda is the illustrator of many awarding-winning picture books including Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, What a Truly Cool World by Julius Lester, a Family Life Magazine Top 10 Best Books of the Year, a Family Fun Critic's Choice, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Book, Mice and Beans by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley which was an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. Mr Cepeda received his BFA in illustration from California State University, Long Beach. Mr. Cepeda received the Recognition of Merit Award for 2000 from The George G. Stone Center for Children's Books. His illustrations have appeared in publications such as The Los Angeles Times; Buzz, Inc. Magazine; and Latina Magazine.
Jimi Hare is fast and Jamey Tortoise is smart. Everyone avoids them, calls them names, and demeans their talents as tricks. When Jimi and Jamey sign up for a race, one practices while the other plans. The tortoise is told that reversals, such as the winner who loses, make the most satisfying newspaper story. The hare hears that the largest crowd gets more attention than the loudest cheers. On the day of the race, the tortoise travels on bus, train, and plane, while the hare dances, runs, and invents new stunts to draw the crowd. Though Jimi Hare crosses the finish line first, all who know Aesops fable understand the headline–"WINNER LOSES! LOSER WINS!" Giving a new twist to an old tale, these two lonely and talented characters eventually become friends. Any reading of this tale will depend on knowledge of Aesops fable. Illustrations are rendered in oil paints showing bright animated characters against textured backgrounds. Occasional rhymes ("Because he always won, they said he was no fun") enliven the text. This contemporary retelling should spark interesting discussions.– -SLJ